'American Idol': And the winner is ...

Scary. 97.5 million votes were cast on last night's performance finale on American Idol. The split is 56 percent to 44 percent, host Ryan Seacrest says. But it's WAY too soon for them to tell us which is which.

The top 12 hit the stage to perform "Get Ready" along with stars from previous seasons of So You Think You Can Dance. The performance is probably pretty fun, but the camerawork is so manic, it's nearly impossible to watch.


After a break, David Cook and David Archuleta duet on Nickelback's "Hero." Hey, maybe they'll both win.

I'm going to ignore the segment that was a big commercial for an upcoming film.


After that neverending portion of the program, Syesha Mercado duets with Seal on "Waiting for You." Jason Castro then reprises his most acclaimed performance, of "Hallelujah."

No, it's not time for the winner yet, but Ryan does tell the Davids that they are both getting free Ford hybrids.

The top six women sing Donna Summer songs, and Amanda Overmyer looks both indifferent and homicidal about the situation. Carly Smithson, meanwhile, is inexplicably wearing thick shiny tights with her slinky red dress. After a quick dance break from some of the SYTYCD dancers, Donna herself comes out to sing her new single as well as "Last Dance."

Carly Smithson barely has time to change clothes before she is back on stage to duet with Michael Johns on "The Letter."  (And suddenly, the tights make much more sense.)

Jimmy Kimmel does a little roast of the show, followed by the top six men with a medley of "Summer of 69" and "Heaven." Then Bryan Adams sprints out to the front of the stage and performs with the guys.

David Cook and ZZ Top hit the stage for a rendition of "Sharp Dressed Man." Then Graham Nash and Brooke White sing "Teach Your Children."

I would like to unsee the Guitar Hero commercial featuring David Cook running around in his underwear a la Tom Cruise in Risky Business. At least it wasn't Archuleta.

The Jonas Brothers are the next random act to perform on this never-ending finale.


Then, it's a flashback to the beginning of the season with the montage of badness and weirdness, followed by a live performance of "I am Your Brother" by Renaldo Lapuz, the guy in the white suit, accompanied by the USC marching band and cheerleaders. Ohhhh-kay, then.

Eventually, we might have some results. Maybe?

First, OneRepublic performs "Apologize," though, accompanied by David Archuleta (who frankly is better than the lead singer, at least tonight).

Then, Jordin Sparks performs her latest song, and, uh, it's a little pitchy, dawg.

In the most random segment yet, footage of Gladys Knight from 1972 is spliced with footage of Robert Downey Jr., Jack Black and Ben Stiller pretending to be the Pips. It's pretty hilarious, all things considered.

Carrie Underwood is next, with her single "Last Name." Lest you forget why she won her season of Idol, she reminds you with this performance.


Oh, no. Then it's the Guitar Hero commercial again, this time with David Archuleta (in boxers, thankfully not briefs, but I still really want to unsee this).

The Top 12 sing a medley of George Michael hits, after which Mr. Michael himself comes out to sing. For a really, really long time.

Finally, finally: RESULTS.

First, though, Simon admits that he was "on the verge of disrespectful" toward David Cook last night and apologizes. (Backtracking?)

And the winner, "by 12 million votes," is David Cook, who gives it up for David Archuleta. Then he cries. "I started this season, much to Simon's chagrin, as the word nerd, but now I'm at a loss for words," he says. His mother and brother come up on stage to share in the celebration.

The seventh Idol, David Cook, sings one last song, and cries some more.


So what do you think of the finale? And the results? (And the fact that the show went five minutes long?)